Super Bowl 2024 drone show will upend standard for advertising

There’s a Super Bowl 2024 drone show in the works this weekend. Ye this drone show doesn’t really have anything to do with football at all. Instead, this drone show takes one of the key reasons why some people watch the Super Bowl — creative advertising — and completely uplevels it. Turned up so high, in fact, that these ads are in the sky.

Super Bowl LVIII is set for this Sunday, Feb. 11 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. There, National Football Conference (NFC) champion San Francisco 49ers and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion — and defending Super Bowl champion — Kansas City Chiefs will play a rematch game. Sure, most fans will be primarily there for the epic battle between the two teams. Others might prioritize the Usher halftime show or a potential Taylor Swift sighting. But we’ve got our eyes on the Super Bowl 2024 for another reason: a drone show.

Visit Newport Beach, the destination marketing agency for the Southern California city, has plans to put on what will be the first-ever, post-game drone light show. A 1,000 drone, 12-minute light show will fly over Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas after the big game. Cable service provider Cox Communications is a partner in the show.

For folks not watching in person, it’ll also be live-streamed for viewers worldwide. Drones will fly in various designs, which includes flying into the shape of a QR code in the sky. Scan that code, and you can enter for a chance to win a vacation package to Newport Beach, California. 

Who made the Super Bowl 2024 drone show?

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The show is being put on by drone light show company SkyWorx. Based in Boise, Idaho, SkyWorx offers drone show packages. Shows feature anywhere from 100 to more than 1,000 drones. They are designed for brand activations, music festivals, sporting events, corporate parties and holiday celebrations. And how much does a SkyWorx drone show cost? They price based on number of drones used, and they charge between $200-$400 per drone. Rates vary based on factors including total number of drones needed, availability, time of year and location.

In addition to the drone show, Visit Newport Beach will broadcast a commercial that will air in 60,000 Las Vegas strip hotel rooms. Newport Beach is a less-than one-hour flight away from Las Vegas.

It’s a compelling type of advertising for Visit Newport Beach, as the Super Bowl is notorious for its ad spots. This will certainly set a new standard for not just tourism marketing, but Super Bowl advertising as a whole.

Don’t fly drones in Vegas (if you’re not the drone light show folks)

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Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas

The Newport Beach Super Bowl 2024 drone show is set to launch one hour after the game ends.

But if you’re not SkyWorx, don’t count on being able to fly drones in Vegas. Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas is a ‘No Drone Zone’ for Super Bowl LVIII. There are Temporary Flight Restrictions (TFRs) in place already — and they’ll get stricter the closer we get to the event.

And it’s not just the stadium that’s a no-go. The FAA also prohibits drones around several additional locations during the days leading up to the event. That includes Resorts World (on Feb. 8 in the afternoon and evening) and Wynn Casino (on Feb. 9 in the evening). Get the full details on all the restricted places in Las Vegas, and when, from the FAA website.

Drone operators who enter the TFRs without permission could face drone confiscation, fines that exceed $30,000 and potential criminal prosecution.

And drones flying in places they shouldn’t is quite a problem. According to counterdrone technology company Dedrone, 4,046 illegal drone flights took place across a combined 374 major sporting events in 2023. That’s a 20% increase from similar data collected in 2022. The numbers are based on the 59 stadiums that use Dedrone’s service.

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A visualization of Dedrone City-Wide Drone Detection. Photo courtesy of Time Magazine.

Notably, the city of Las Vegas actually uses DedroneCityWide, which is a type of airspace security infrastructure. Time Magazine even rated Dedrone City-Wide Drone Detectionas one of The Time Best Inventions of 2023. And it has a valid use case. Drones flying over large crowds has concerned event organizers, who have suggested that drones might drop hazardous materials on crowds.

Super Bowl 2024 is a designated SEAR 1 event by the Department of Homeland Security, which is the highest level of security for large-scale events in the U.S.

“After the October 1 event [2017 Mandalay Bay mass shooting], we realized that we had to analyze all potential threat vectors to our city, including drones,” according to a statement from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. “Ahead of Super Bowl LVIII, our collaboration with external security and public safety groups, both public and private, is essential to providing a safe environment.”

A history of Super Bowl drones

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Drones fly in the NFL logo over the Los Angeles Convention Center at the NFL’s first-ever Super Bowl Drone Show. That was ahead of Super Bowl LVI, February 11, 2022 in downtown Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Getty Images)

While Visit Newport Beach will set a new standard for advertising, the concept of Super Bowl drones is hardly new. In 2022, a series of Super Bowl drone light shows in the days leading up to the game flew in downtown Los Angeles. The hype-building drones flew in iconic shapes like a football and the NFL logo in what was the NFL’s first-ever Super Bowl drone light show.

Back in 2019, drones flew as Maroon 5 performed with Big Boi, Travis Scott, and Sleepy Brown during the Pepsi Super Bowl LIII Halftime Show at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.

Two years before that in 2017, hundreds of drones flew during Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show during Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Want to get your hands on your own light show drone? Here are the most popular light show drones out there.

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